UC Prompt #1 - Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
Public speaking was never really something I would do for "fun". Of course, I've had to give presentations for certain classes, but only to complete an assignment. In contrast, there was one presentation which had a different meaning to it. I decided to sign up for the MESA course my sophomore year, expecting to build and test creations. To my surprise, two of my classmates and I were randomly chosen to take part in a public speaking assignment which would lead up to a statewide speech contest near the end of the year. At first, none of us were up for the task. We protested to the teacher, but to no avail. Eventually, I accepted my fate and moved on, but my teammates ventured on in protest.
Time passed, and I began to like the idea of showcasing my ideas to experienced professionals. Assisting my teacher, I persuaded my team members to accept the challenge with an open mind. With argumentative strategies and elements at the ready, my persuasive arsenal was one which could have impressed Aristotle. How could they resist the desire to win? The desire to impress teachers and peers alike? Most importantly, how could they turn down the challenge so many others wouldn't dare to take on?
In a way, this was my qualifying round of public speaking. My teacher knew he could trust me to steer the group in the right direction. Getting to work, I kept my group on task and determined to win. Throughout the year, our focus shifted from numerous things, such as pesticide misuse to self driving cars, but the end goal was the same. We had to win.
Funnily enough, that year we took home the gold. I've felt the sweet taste of victory before, such as basketball games and spelling bees, yet this victory felt different. Not only did I win with my individual merit, I propelled my peers into succeeding.